Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Brown's Park National Wildlife Refuge - Moffat County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: (submitted by Forrest Luke and Andrew Spencer) Brown's Park is located on the Utah border at the west end of Highway 318. Headquarters is located south of Highway 318 within a mile of the Utah border. There is a self-guided tour of the refuge. In addition to marshes and open pond areas, there are cottonwood riparian areas and extensive sagebrush and saltbush habitats. A hunting blind on the largest pond along the auto-tour route is a great place to scan for ducks. During migration many hundreds of individuals of many species can be seen here. Browns Park NWR is also probably the best place in the state to see Tundra Swans, as their migration route just clips this remote corner of Colorado. Willow thickets along the river by the auto tour loop host breeding Willow Flycatchers, and the cottonwoods along various drainages may be good for migrants.

Cliffs along the river host Canyon Wrens and nesting raptors, and look like prime habitat for Black Phoebe. By heading over the really cool "Swinging Bridge" you can access many extremely remote and wonderful draws that very, very few birders ever see. These draws are filled with PJ and thick manzanita woodland found nowhere else in Colorado, and all the typical PJ species could be found in the area. The road on the south side of the Green River here also allows for scanning of some additional shallow ponds and marshes, which are great places to look for more ducks and shorebirds, including Black-necked Stilt (which breeds here).

The NWR headquarters, which are reached by heading south from SR-318 just west of the entrance to the auto-loop, usually have hummingbird feeders up, with many Black-chinned Hummingbirds during the summer, and the other three regulars during the fall. Eurasian Collared-Dove has been seen here as well. The brushy draw below the headquarters is excellent for land birds, including breeding Yellow-breasted Chat, Virginia's Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and many others.

A final location to check in the area is the Browns Park Store, which is reached by turning north off of SR-318 east of the NWR. The hummingbird feeders here often attract Black-chinned Hummingbirds during the summer, and the other three regulars during the fall.

This remote site is under birded and likely hosts much more birding potential than is currently reported.

Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Rimrock/Mesa, Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Sagebrush
Directions: Browns Park is south of SR-318, 60 miles NW of Maybell. The road to the headquarters heads south at 60 miles from Maybell, and reaches the headquarters building in a little over a mile. The road to the swingin bridge (CR 83) heads south just before the road to the headquarters, and goes 2.5 miles to the bridge, and then over the river. From here you can head either east or west; east will take you to the sites described above. The auto-loop leaves from SR-318 10 miles east of CR 83, and travels west near the river and south of SR-318 to CR 83.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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Latest Brown's Park National Wildlife Refuge Sightings from eBird


CBRC Records from Brown's Park National Wildlife Refuge

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Summer Tanager2002-10110/6/2002
Rose-breasted Grosbeak2002-11711/9/2002 - 11/25/2002